Friday, July 29, 2011


So...on my day "off" I try and take a little time to do some things for myself. It's been a bit challenging as of late because I've been going out with the team most every day, getting back late, then prepping for clinic each night. I'm not able to finish up until about 8:30 or 9:00 each night, which leaves little to no time to do "stuff". On top of that, my housekeeper has been gone this whole week, so even doing things like laundry has been quite the challenge - much less any other house chores. So, my days off are filled with paying bills, buying groceries, cleaning house, doing laundry, etc. But - I did take about an hour to do something I love to do. And that's cooking.

I have a beautiful basil plant in my back yard I've raised from seed...I'm quite proud of it. It's doing so well, I thought I would finally put it to some good use. I made home made pesto sauce. Trimmed off about 1 1/3 cups of fresh basil leaves, added all my other needed ingredients, and got to work. A freshly made pizza dough, olive oil grilled zucchini, grilled red and orange peppers, fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes - and you have a pizza ready to be cooked. I was quite happy with the end result, and will definitely include this in future dinners to come.

Fresh pesto sauce

Right before going in the oven

End result with fresh basil placed on the pizza after it's cooked - with a sprinkling of Blue Cheese - YUM!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's days like this that just make you grumpy. We were out in Armenia Bonito, the village we work in, with a 20 person team. We were busily doing construction, I had a group in the clinic working with patients, when I get this phone call from Mike. He was on his way back to our house. We had just been robbed. Apparently someone scaled our fence, took a sledgehammer to our front door, stole Mike's computer, trashed the ENTIRE house, stole some cash, and took off. Our gardener had been near by and saw the fence wide open. He quickly went over to our team mates house to get our team mate and she called Mike. One thing we are meticulous about is safety. We live in Fort Knox, afterall. But bottom line is this - if someone wants in your house - they are getting in your house.

So Mike was giving me the update and I must have gone through the stages of grief in about 5 minutes. I was first shocked. Really?! How in the world did this happen? How was my dog? Then I started crying. Imagining what a mess my house was in. Then I got mad. Like really mad. Like narrow my focus down to seeing red kind of mad. Then I got to "acceptance". Acceptance because what can you do? We are getting a new front door, an additional security door in front of that, additional razor wire for the top of our fence. So that's where I sit...balanced between mad and acceptance. I find that being mad is helpful to me - a much better sense than feeling sad and depressed. Wednesday is when we start to get these new things - and I hope with it, a better sense of feeling more secure.

Our team has been riddled with things this summer. Two of the four ministry vehicles have been on the fritz, illness all around, and now this. We are busy doing God's work, and the enemy is NOT happy about it! So I rejoice in that - will continue the fight and see what's next :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Grace Community Church Mission Trip to Honduras

July 16-23, 2011 we hosted a short-term mission team from Grace Community Church of Mobile, AL. The team put on three medical clinics in Armenia Bonito and treated 140 patients. They also did construction on a house and a ministry center, taught English and organized Kids Club.

Watch this 2 minute 15 second video to see them in action:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My thoughts on short-term missions

A dear sweet friend of mine I met in Costa Rica writes a blog. Now, many people "write" blogs, but she shares her heart and Christian experience as a full-time missionary in Costa Rica from a very practical and different perspective. It's hard, sometimes, to be honest in a blog. I'm just going to say it. We want our supporters to hear about what we are doing, share in our experiences, but not hear about the difficulties. The hard times. The completely frustrating days (talk to my husband about last was one of those days). She shares her heart. Her name is Jamie, and her blog is The Very Worst Missionary. Go check her out and let me know what you think. Recently she has written two blogs on short-term teams and as we are in the middle of our short-term teams, it seemed appropriate to write my own version.

There are a boat load of books written about short-term teams. Their impact on the community they serve; and the people who are going. Some of my favorites: Go and Make Disciples by Roger Greenway, Let the Nations be Glad by John Piper, On Being a Missionary by Thomas Hale. Another book to read, take into consideration, but know that I have many "issues" with, that I think is VERY one-sided but I think is definitely food for thought, but about half of the book I would disagree with is called When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

That being said, I would love to share some personal thoughts about working in a short-term capacity. Romans 10:14-15 is by far my favorite missions verses: 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

How do I pray for teams coming? I pray that their lives would be changed. That they would be ever outward looking. That they would impact lives. They would love on people. They would be blessed by those they have come to serve. That they would be stretched. I pray that things don't always go well. I pray for some discomfort - hot; lost bags; broken down cars; supplies not arriving; cold showers; uncomfortable because you have to throw your toilet paper in the trash not in the toilet; food not what they like; "only" eating PB&J's for a week; working late; not working at all; not drinking the water; sleeping 10 to a room. You get the idea. I truly pray for these things - why?! It's so easy to become accustomed to the comfort creatures in life. How cushy we live. How self-centered most of us are (you notice I included myself in that statement). And yet, we go on a trip, for only a week, or two, and complain a whole lot! We enter into the lives of people that live this life every day. We live it for a week. How many of us could have lived in the wilderness and eaten locusts for dinner? How many could have been like Jesus and gone into the desert on faith alone knowing He would be cared for? How many of us truly and honestly, have a motivation to reach out to others from our heart, and not a desire to feel good about it? To be loving and caring when we aren't being observed? To show kindness and mercy without having pictures taken of us? Now I love pictures - don't get me wrong - I love taking those precious faces home with me and love on them again in my heart and present them to God in my prayers.

So my question to you - what is your motivation for going on a short-term trip? In the book On Being a Missionary, Hale makes the statement - "Being a missionary begins with being called. You don't choose to be a missionary; you're called to be one. The only choice is whether to obey." There are so many people who, in their heart, believe they are called to missions. The come to the field, but end up leaving the field disheartened, discouraged, and not having accomplished much of anything. I call this a "heart call". In your heart you feel led, and yet, I don't feel that God has called you to this purpose. Does that mean being a missionary that has been truly called is a missionary that "makes things happen?" Plant 10 churches, see 100 people saved, build a school? means being obedient to the one who sent you. Having an open heart to go where God calls. To stumble when we stray from His path. To pray for opportunities that you may not want. Bottom line - to be obedient. Realize that 25 gringos in a village of 3,000 Hondurans is quite a spectacle. It can't help but be otherwise. But I pray that you look at how you present yourself. Are you putting on a show, or showing your love to others? Are you feeling good about what you are doing, or feeling the hearts and hardships of those you have come to serve? Are you staring in awe about how "the poor people live" in their dirty rotting home or rejoicing in their eternal home? Search your heart for your motivation - come open - come prepared to serve - come without an agenda - come and be love - the love that comes by serving our great and awesome God. The Jesus that loved the poor more than the rich, the Jesus that showed mercy and kindness without bringing a single dollar, the Jesus that loved the little children. Be that kind of missionary. See how God will stretch you, love you, break you, and use you.

'nuff said.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Covenant Community Church Mission Trip to Honduras

July 10-16, 2011 we hosted a short-term mission team from Covenant Community Church of Scottsdale, AZ. The team put on three medical clinics in Armenia Bonito and treated 140 patients. They also did construction on a house and a ministry center, taught English, organized Kids Club and took 26 kids to the beach.

Watch this 2 minute 30 second video to see them in action:

Friday, July 15, 2011


In the middle of teams sometimes it's difficult to just keep up with life - pay bills, clean the house, you know - the norms. This is a week mission trip for folks, but for us - it's 3 months of missions trips. Gets to be a bit challenging. However, in the midst of all that, it's a time to reflect what is going on. To see the impact that is being made on His Kingdom. To realize that part of why we are here is exactly this time of the year. Mike and I are a result of short-term teams. We decided that for us, short-term was not the answer, and that we wanted to do this thing full-time.

Taking some kids from Armenia Bonito to the beach

Covenant Community Church has been a huge part of our ministry here from the beginning. We've received numerous short-term teams, prayers, financial support and love from this church that is over-filled with outward seeking members. I was blessed to have my own little medical group here with me, Patricia, and Dr. "Raphael" were my medical team that helped out in the medical clinic where we saw over 140 patients this week. So many people came to be physically served, and were spiritually and emotionally served as well. We will miss this awesome team and look forward to see how God will use them.

The "medical crew"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Wow! So much has been going on I almost can't think straight! Madison is still in New York, team mates have been coming and going - and we are doing clinic all this week. Since I'm the primary medical person on the team along with my doc friend from Covenant Community - we are seeing almost 50 people a day. This also requires me to come back at the end of a long day and spend 2-3 hours prepping for the next days clinic. So - I'm a little over tired, so am going to make this brief.

Construction is going along nicely, English Class yesterday, Kids Club today, ocean trip tomorrow with 30 kids from the village, another full day of clinic on Thursday, then a full day hike on Friday! Whew! This team has been great and look forward to see how God continues to use them.

On a side note - Mike was sick, sick, sick this last week (our week off), and the weekend. Monday he started to recover, and it looks like he's about 90% better. Thank you God!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Manor Presbyterian Mission Trip to Honduras

June 25 - July 2, 2011 we hosted a short-term mission team from Manor Presbyterian Church of Cochranville, PA. The team put on a medical clinic in Armenia Bonito and treated 35 patients. They also did construction on a house and a ministry center, taught English, organized Kids Club, fed 18 needy families and took 30 kids to the beach.

Watch this 2 minute and 35 second video to seat them serve:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

fun times

One of the things we have the ability to do when short term teams are here are big kid events. We've done several when teams aren't here - but the logistics (more people to watch out for kids) just make it easier when teams are here. So, we took some kids from Armenia Bonito out to the ocean. It's only a 15 minute drive from their village to get to the ocean, but almost none go - it's a bus ride, therefore money, to get there. So we loaded 30 kids onto a bus and headed to the ocean where they got a huge plate of food, and I was able to give a full gospel presentation. We spent just over 3 hours there, and for those 3 hours, the kids just got to be kids. No responsibilities, no siblings to raise, no back-breaking chores to do. It was a privilege for us as well.

Me giving the gospel presentation

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hellos and Goodbyes

The life of a missionary is full of hellos and goodbyes. It's a constant. In all the things that aren't, this is a certainty. We just said goodbye to a great team, goodbye to my girl, Madison, off spending a month in New York. Goodbye to Shannon and Bethany, our other team mates as they take their visa hop, and finally a goodbye to our team mate Leo. Leo first came to Honduras on a short term trip and made the decision to come back as an intern. He's been here for 8 months and has had a huge impact on the kids in Armenia Bonito. He will be sorely missed. We have a week off between teams, then we have 4 teams back-to-back. So prayers for energy, good health, and no mishaps would be GREAT!